|Detailed Objective: This work develops and evaluates a dietary assessment tool that can be used across
the programs in the Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and
Children (WIC), recognizing that adaptations may be needed for culturally diverse
populations. The tool will serve several functions, such as screening for dietary
patterns that do not meet Federal dietary recommendations, facilitating the triage
of patients for services, and serving as the basis for general nutrition education.
Because there are clear health and nutrition risks associated with selected
inappropriate dietary patterns, there is interest in improving, standardizing,
and simplifying the tools used for obtaining and assessing information on food
intake, dietary patterns, and nutritional quality, particularly for children
ages 2-4 years who may be eligible to participate in WIC. Therefore, the Harvard
School of Public Health will collaborate with the Department of Health or the
Department of Public Health in North Dakota, Missouri, and Massachusetts and
with the Division of Nutrition Control and Prevention, to study three uses of
the validated Harvard food frequency questionnaire (HFFQ) for children 1 to
5 years of age participating in WIC. The focus of the tool to be developed is
for use with children 2-4 years of age who may be eligible for WIC. Specifically,
the project will:
- evaluate and improve the output of the HFFQ to better facilitate nutrition
education, food package decisions, and referrals;
design, implement, and evaluate the use of aggregate nutrition data for program
planning and evaluation at the State and national levels by aggregating diet
assessment and administrative data from WIC programs in collaborating States;
- examine relations between diets of ages 2 to 4 and childhood obesity as measured
by excess adiposity among 4-year-old children, using prospective data collected
through the WIC program.
We hypothesize that a high-fat diet leads to greater childhood obesity and
that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber is associated with lower levels
of obesity. Building on the food pyramid, health outcomes from this work, and
other sources will define diet quality for this age group. Guidance will be
provided throughout the work by forming a national advisory board with members
from the National Association of WIC Directors, the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
assistance agreement was awarded to the Harvard School of Public Health in fiscal
1998 to conduct research to improve assessment, policy analysis, and health
outcomes on dietary intake. The cost of this work is $490,209. The project is
expected to be completed in August, 2001.
Colditz, G. Dietary Intake and Health Outcomes: Final Report, Contractor and Cooperator Report No. 6, USDA, ERS, May 2005.
Newby, P., K. Peterson, C. Berkey, J. Leppert, W. Willett, and G. Colditz. "Beverage Consumption Is Not Associated with Changes in Weight and Body Mass Index Among Low-Income Preschool Children in South Dakota," Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. 104, No. 7, July 2004.
Newby, P., K. Peterson, C. Berkey, J. Leppert, W. Willett, and G. Colditz. "Dietary Composition and Weight Change Among Low-Income Preschool Children," Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 157, No. 8, August 2003.